Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot ran a tactical last kilometer on her way to making history as the first Kenyan woman to win gold in the women’s 5,000 meters, and lead Kenya to a 1-2 finish with Hellen Obiri winning silver.
Cheruiyot, who a week ago won silver in women’s 10,000 meters looked determined to exorcise the ghosts that denied her a gold medal, in this case Ethiopian Almaz Anaya who could not muster the power and drive exhibited by the two Kenyan runners. Anaya settled for Bronze.
The gold medal brings Kenya’s tally in Rio Olympics to 5 gold medals, and this equals Kenya’s second best Olympics outing. In Seoul in 1988, Kenya won 5 gold medals.
With men’s 1,500 meters, women’s 800 meters, Men’s javelin, and Men’s marathon still to be competed, the Rio Kenya team looks set to make history for winning the most gold at the Olympics. The record so far stands at 6 gold medals won at the Beijing Olympics in 2008
Cheruiyot’s win in the 5,000 could not have come at a better for team Kenya still reeling form Ezekiel Kemboi’s disqualification in men’s 3,000 m steeplechase as well as the failure of the men’s 5,000 team to make it through the qualifying rounds